The University of Minnesota decided that no Gophers women’s basketball player would wear the No. 13 again in January 2005, raising that number to the rafters at Williams Arena to honor one of the best players in the program’s history. Now, thanks to Whalen, that number also won’t be worn by another Minnesota Lynx player.
The Lynx announced Thursday morning that Whalen’s No. 13 will be retired on Saturday, June 8 when they play host to the Los Angeles Sparks. The native of Hutchinson, Minn., retired last August after completing a 15-year career in the WNBA that included nine seasons with the Lynx and four WNBA championships with the franchise.
Whalen, who recently completed her first season as coach of the Gophers women’s basketball team, will be the first player in Lynx history to have her jersey number retired.
Whalen, who led the Gophers to their first-ever Final Four appearance in 2004, was taken fourth overall in the 2004 draft by the Connecticut Sun. She was traded to the Lynx in January 2010 and went on to win four WNBA titles with the franchise. Whalen is the Lynx’s all-time leader in assists (1,394), ranks second in games played (283) and is fourth in scoring (3,233). She retired as the WNBA’s all-time leader in wins (323) and had 54 more in the playoffs.
Whalen’s number will be retired a week before the Twins do the same for St. Paul native Joe Mauer, who retired after last season. Mauer will become the eighth player or manager to have his number (7) retired on June 15.